Sunday, May 5, 2013

Easter in Greece

We arrived in Greece late in the evening (after some fun navigating with a metro strike), and upon checking into the Marble House Hotel, we were informed that at midnight there would be quite the event due to Easter.  All we needed to do to see it was to head toward Plaka (the old part of town), so we did.

As we followed the directions given to us, we began to see people carrying candles, as well as many streets vendors with tall slender candles for sale.  Soon, we could hear a deep voice singing, and as we neared a church, we realized a service was being held.  Continuing on to Plaka, we passed more churches and many more people with candles.

Then, at midnight, the church bells began to ring and fireworks were set off.  As the bells faded, hundreds of people slowly left the churches headed in various directions.  Many paused on occasion to shield their candles from the wind with their hands or their cell phones.  As the candles bobbed into the night and the people faded away towards home or one of the many open restaurants, our attention was caught by some of the awesome ancient monuments, well-lit against the night sky:

After some research, I now know that this was the big Easter event - Resurrection Night.  According to, there is a special service at 11pm, at the end of which everyone lights their candles from the priest's candle.   The candles would be carried, still lit, all the way home.  The restaurants were open to help everyone to break their Lenten fast.  It is a night of feasting and celebration.  The food looked so amazing that Paul and I resolved to return the next day (having already gorged ourselves on take out gyros) for a full meal.

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